Tied games in any form of cricket are extremely rare, and even more so when it comes to the Cricket World Cup. A tied game adds a layer of excitement to the game as the match would have tilted in either way more than once. This outcome is a testament to the closely contested nature of the game, showcasing the balance of skill and determination between the two teams involved.

Throughout the history of the ODIs and World Cups, in particular, tied matches have become iconic and etched in the annals of cricket. They signify the high level of unpredictability of the game, and this aspect makes cricket one of the most captivating sports on the global stage. As such, tied matches are celebrated as one of the defining aspects of the ODI game, reminding us that in cricket, anything is possible and victory is never guaranteed until the final ball is bowled.

There have been 5 ODI games that have ended in a tie as far as ICC World Cup cricket is concerned. We will list the games here.

1. South Africa vs Australia | ICC Cricket World Cup 1999, Birmingham

This was the first ever tied game in the history of the ICC Cricket World Cup, and it came in arguably one of the best ODI games of all time. This match is still revered by many for the magnitude of the results that came along the way, and it can be described as an opportunity lost for South Africa to clinch their first-ever World Cup.

Australia batted first on a typical gloomy and overcast day at Edgbaston. The Proteas bowlers ruled the roost, with Shaun Pollock and Allan Donald running through the Aussie top order, taking 9 wickets between them. It was only due to a 90-run partnership between Steve Waugh (56) and Michael Bevan (65) that the men in yellow managed to post a middling total of 213 in a high-pressure semi-final game.

This low score was one of the finest moments in World Cup history, as nothing separated these 2 sides in the end as Shane Warne’s 4/29 restricted the Proteas to the exact same score in the end. The game may have ended in a tie, but thanks to a superior head-to-head record (Australia won in group stages), the Aussies sailed to the final, eventually winning the World Cup.

2. South Africa vs Sri Lanka | ICC Cricket World Cup 2003, Durban

The World Cup was in its final stages in the 2003 edition, and we got to witness an edge-of-a-seat thriller in what was a rain-affected game at Durban. The Sri Lankan team opted to bat first and posted a decent total on the board, riding on the back of a masterful century by their opener, Marvan Atapattu, who made a well-compiled 124 off 129 deliveries. His knock, along with Aravinda de Silva’s 73, took Lanka’s score to a defendable 268.

We had a truncated 2nd innings due to rain, and the Proteas’ were set a target of 230 from 45 overs. The hosts of the tournament got a good quick start from their opening pair of Herschelle Gibbs and Graeme Smith, but the Sri Lankan spinners pulled things back, taking wickets at regular intervals.

In the end, South Africa finished at 229/6 from their allotted quota of 45 overs, and the game was deemed a tie. This gave the World Cup its second-ever tied ODI.

Also Read | Greatest 10 ODI World Cup Matches

3. Ireland vs Zimbabwe | ICC Cricket World Cup 2007, Kingston

Ireland made their World Cup debut with this particular group game against Zimbabwe, and they made it even more memorable by holding an experienced team like Zimbabwe to a tie. Ireland, invited to bat first, could muster only 221 despite a great century by their opener, Jeremy Bray (115).

And their bowlers did a commendable job of defending a not-so-huge score in the second innings. Zimbabwe finished with the same score as Ireland did, and the thrilling game ended in a tie.

4. India vs England | ICC Cricket World Cup 2011, Bengaluru

It was a league-stage game in the 2011 edition of the World Cup, and the hosts, India, took on England at the Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Unlike the previous game, it was a run-fest where both teams made merry.

India batted first and got off to a blazing start, with Sachin Tendulkar making another of his ODI tons with support from the other top-order batsmen. But India endured a collapse in the end overs, and this meant they were bowled out for 338 with a ball to spare.

In pursuit of what would be their highest run chase in ODIs, England stayed in the hunt for a large part of the chase thanks to their skipper Andrew Strauss’ brilliant 158 — the highest individual score in while chasing in the World Cup — and a crucial knock of 69 by Bell. This meant England went within touching distance of a win, but some good bowling at the death kept the scores level, and in the end, the game ended in an exciting tie.

5. England vs New Zealand | ICC Cricket World Cup Final 2019, Lords

One of the most talked about games in World Cup history was the final of the 2019 World Cup held at the iconic Lords between the hosts England and New Zealand. The final lived up to expectations, as it turned out to be a cliffhanger with nothing separating the teams after each side had batted.

New Zealand, batting first, made 241 in their allotted 50 overs on a surface that had something for bowlers, and this was achieved on the back of a fine half-century from their opener, Henry Nicholls, who scored 55. But none of the other batters could get a score of some substance as the English pace duo of Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett snapped 6 wickets between them.

England, in response, had a poor start, losing 4 wickets for 86 runs. But the 110-run stand between the current skipper, Jos Buttler (59), and Ben Stokes, who remained unbeaten on 84, brought the team closer to the target. However, the Kiwis made yet another comeback towards the end, and lots of drama unfolded as they bowled out the home team for 241, resulting in a tie.

Then a Super Over followed, which also ended in a tie. But England clinched the game based on boundary count and won the ICC Cricket World Cup for the first time.

Also Read | ODI Cricket World Cup Winning Captains List

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